Oman and Canada got one step closer to fulfilling their dreams of featuring in the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019 when they claimed the top positions in the ICC World Cricket League Division 3 to be promoted to the Division 2 event.
Oman routed Malaysia by 131 runs in its final league match to finish with four wins in five matches, while Canada suffered a shock but thrilling two-run defeat against Singapore. However, Canada, which has played in four World Cups, edged out the Asian side on superior net run-rate after both the sides had finished on six points apiece.
Oman and Canada, which take on each other in the final on Tuesday, will now aim to finish in the top two of the ICC World Cricket League Division 2, which will earn them places in the ICC Cricket World Cup Qualifier 2018, where they will be joined by the top four sides from the ICC World Cricket League Championship and the bottom four sides from the MRF Tyres ICC ODI Team Rankings. The top two sides from the qualifier will progress to the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019, which will be staged in the United Kingdom from 30 May to 15 July.
In the final match of the day, the USA defeated Uganda by 13 runs to finish fourth. The USA, along with Singapore, has stayed in Division 3, but Uganda and Malaysia by virtue of finishing in the bottom two have been relegated to Division 4.
Oman does it
In the feature match of the day at the Lugugo Cricket Oval between Oman and Malaysia, a swashbuckling 77 not out off 30 balls with four fours and eight sixes from 34-year-old Naseem Khushi lifted Oman from a worrying position of 199 for six in 43 overs to 293 for seven in 50 overs.
After losing Khawar Ali on the first ball of the match, Aqib Ilyas (61, 76b, 8×4, 1×6) and Jatinder Singh (44, 56b, 6×4) added 98 runs to put Oman back on track. In the middle of the innings, captain Sultan Ahmed contributed 51 off 69 balls with five fours and Ajay Lalcheta chipped in with 24, before Naeem’s 30-ball cameo put Oman in a position from where it could dictate terms.
Khawar Ali, the 31-year-old wrist-spinner, made amends for his first-ball duck when he ran through the middle and lower middle-order of Malaysia’s innings to finish with figures of 8.1-1-23-5 as the batting side was bundled out for 162 in 33.1 overs. Khawar got into his element after Munis Ansari had rocked the Malaysian top-order with some fiery bowling to claim the wickets of the top three batsmen to finish with figures of four for 47.
For Malaysia, opener Anwar Arudin belted six fours and four sixes in a 35-ball 57, while middle-order batsman Shafiq Sharif scoffed 33 off 47 balls with seven fours.
Singapore beats Canada
At Kyambogo Cricket Oval, Singapore, put into bat by Canada, was bowled out for 166 in 36.4 overs. Anish Paraam (58) and Chetan Suryawanshi (38), who added 59 for the fourth wicket, were the star performers for Singapore, while wickets were evenly shared between Canada’s Bhavindu Adhihetty (three for 10), Satsimranjit Dhinda (two for 29) and Saad Bin Zafar (two for 39).
In its target chase, Canada slipped to 29 for three before Navneet Dhaliwal (37) and Nikhil Dutta (22) added 45 runs for the fourth wicket to repair the damage. The departure of both the batsmen in a space of 14 runs exposed one end as Canada was eventually dismissed for 164 after losing its last two wickets in three balls for one run. Rizwan Cheema finished as the top scorer with 42 from 35 balls with five fours and two sixes.
For Singapore, new ball bowler Janak Prakash stood-out as he finished with three for 16, while Anantha Krishan provided Prakash excellent support by finishing with figures of three for 39.
The feature of the USA-Uganda match was a spirit bowling performance by captain Steve Taylor, who returned figures of five for 32, as the host side, chasing 146 runs for victory, was bowled out for 132 after being 82 for three in the 19th over.
Scores in brief:
Oman beat Malaysia by 131 runs
Oman 293-7, 50 overs (Naseem Khushi 77 not out, Aqib Ilyas 61, Sultan Ahmed 51, Jatinder Singh 44; Neville Liyanage 2-57)
Malaysia 162 all out, 33.1 overs (Anwar Aruddin 57, Shafiq Sharif 33, Khizar Hayat 28; Khawar Ali 5-23, Munis Ansari 4-47)
Singapore beat Canada by two runs
Singapore 166 all out, 36.4 overs (Anish Paraam 58, Chetan Suryawanshi 38, Janak Prakash 27; Bhavindu Adhihetty 3-10)
Canada 164 all out, 38 overs (Rizwan Cheema 42, Navneet Dhaliwal 37, Nikhil Dutta 22; Janak Prakash 3-16, Anantha Krishna 3-39)
USA beat Uganda by 13 runs
USA 145 all out, 49.5 overs (Elmore Hutchison 52, Sagar Patel 33; Davis Arinaitwe 3-21)
Uganda 132 all out, 43 overs (Naeem Bardai 32; Steven Taylor 5-32)
Oman 5 4 1 0 8 1.23
Canada 5 3 2 0 6 0.81
Singapore 5 3 2 0 6 -0.41
USA 5 2 3 0 4 -0.12
Uganda 5 2 3 0 4 -0.20
Malaysia 5 1 4 0 2 -1.28
Final – Oman v Canada
3rd/4th place play-off – Singapore v USA
5th/6th position play-off – Uganda v Malaysia